As I mentioned in a previous post, Milwaukee Electric Tools opened their doors this week to show off what’s new and exciting in power and hand tools. In a very cool venue I might add—Harley Davidson’s Motorcycle Museum in Milwaukee.
Here’s what I can tell you straight away: Milwaukee Electric has been and continues to be dedicated to developing heavy-duty tools for the trade professions. This comes directly from company president Steven Richman and is echoed down through the rank and file of product managers. These folks are fully committed to plumbers, electricians, HVAC, MRO, remodelers, estimators and contractors. Their research and development and field observation focuses on how tradespeople use their tools and where better solutions are needed. That’s what Milwaukee sets out to build quickly, thoroughly and always with an eye to innovation.
To this end, I saw some interesting developments coming down the pipeline in terms of battery technology, as it pertains to a broad line of cordless tools. Unfortunately, I can’t share more about that at this time. Milwaukee also plans to launch a new multi-tool in October to compete with other manufacturers such as Fein, Dremel, Rockwell, Bosch and others. It will have the same versatility of function as other multi-tools but with the added advantage that you can use any brand of attachment and it will fit this tool. That’s not the case just yet with other multi-tools on the market.
I saw a variety of other new cordless tools as well, which might be of particular interest to you if you are in the trades (or a serious DIYer) as well as a woodworker: a cordless grease gun, no-hub coupling driver, palm nailer, right-angle drill, metal-cutting circular saw and one-handed recip saw. There’s even a cordless heated jacket that they’re bringing to market (it runs on a 12-volt battery and heats your back and chest) for those cold winter days on the jobsite. Or snow shoveling and ice fishing, for us northerners.
Milwaukee is also investing in battery-operated precision measuring instruments, plus a brand-new cordless tool for expanding PEX tubing. If you’re hankering for a new set of screwdrivers or a folding utility knife, the company rolled out these hand tools along with jab saws, a compact hack saw and a PVC saw.
But, what did Milwaukee have in store for woodworking tools, you ask? Not much.
Most woodworkers I’ve talked with appreciate Milwaukee’s BodyGrip routers, random-orbit sanders and miter saws. Personally, I really like the BodyGrip and have one here in my shop. So, it would have been very exciting to see some innovative, new woodworking tools coming forth from Big Red. But that isn’t the case this year. Still, Milwaukee does consider woodworkers to be in its core customer group, but from what I could gather, new woodworking tools will come our way as a byproduct of the innovations Milwaukee achieves for the trades. That is their bread-and-butter constituency.
We’ll continue to keep tabs on new woodworking developments from Milwaukee in the future. Maybe next year, there will be something fresh, sporty and red in the lineup for us wood rats, too.
Catch you in the shop,
Chris Marshall, Field Editor